Monday, November 28, 2022

weekending/Hello Monday

 


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Holly and Sarah for today's blog post. 


I have to confess that the blog break and very long weekend last week was so nice, but even though that was the case, I missed you. I purposefully didn't even up my laptop for pleasure for the rest of the week after I read blogs on Wednesday morning. I do love being here, but a break is nice time and again. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have to confess something else—it didn't feel very much like Thanksgiving time last week, and I think I had a case of the holiday blues. I know that people have said they struggle with this sometimes, but it's been ages since I've felt like that. I had a little evaluation of my perspective on Wednesday morning and after spending time in prayer and reading the Bible, I did feel marginally better. I say "marginally", because I don't always feel different after I do those things. 


I always like to be real here, you know that, and though I know that my relationship with the Lord does make a huge difference in my life, it's not always an instant fix when I spend time with Him. I think several things played into me feeling like that—one, my personal time with God had been lacking that week. Secondly, when things get busy, prayer is one of the first things I neglect. Now I still pray, but it's not a concentrated time of prayer when I sit and really "dig in deep" with pouring my heart out to God. There's a difference in "popcorn prayers" in which I pray randomly and sporadically and really sitting and spending time with Him as I pray about all of my family, loved ones and friends. Even if I don't always feel an instant difference, this is something I diligently pursue each day, as best I'm able. Things would be so much worse if I didn't spend time praying and reading His word! And I know that the more I do that, the closer I feel to Him. It's like what James wrote about in James 4:8a—Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. The opposite is also true, though—when I don't spend time with Him, I feel far from Him. 


I said all of that to say that sometimes life can be hard and times can feel disappointing. I'll confess a third thing, and then I'll move on to the rest of this post by lightening things up—I'm struggling being a parent to older sons. I miss the days of their childhood so much that I can hardly see straight. I miss them being surprised by Christmas and excited to do all the things. If that's you and you're still in this phase, relish in it, my friend. I know people tell you that all the time, but the years go by with lightning speed. Sometimes social media and blog posts make me feel all the things, so on those days, I have to shut down my laptop and spend time with God. Life is just strange and different with all these boys of mine grown and rarely around. That is why I so enjoyed my great nieces (and niece and nephew) being here last week! I got to enjoy a few days worth of quality time with them. In case you're curious, I did pull out of these feelings, thanks to a day of working at my computer on our next Bible study that we're writing! I'll tell you more in a second...


I'm backing up to Tuesday during the day, since I never shared about that last week. I piddled around home for a while that morning, which was so nice! I did laundry, I dusted and vacuumed and straightened all of the upstairs....



...then after making my bed, I went to run a couple of errands. I had to go to the bank, then I went to get my nails done because they were way too long and driving me bonkers. 



This wasn't at all the color I'd had in mind for them this time, but I really like them now that I'm used to them. I wanted white with sparkles, but my girl gave me clear with sparkles instead. Now I love them! After my errands, I went to Mom's and Bill's to see everyone. My sister Lisa was there, so I had lunch with them, then Erika, her hubby Kyle and their four girls came over to visit and help their Gigi (Lisa) make holiday cookies and treats. 






Look at Mom's beautiful side porch! She is such a talented decorator. It was a magical afternoon! I love these girls SO MUCH, and their mom. I feel like Erika is more like my little sister than my niece, and these girls fighting over who sits with me and holds my hand is the best feeling ever. The younger two aren't as friendly with me yet, just because they don't know me well, but Kinsley and Kylie know me very well and know how much I adore them. 


I didn't stay too long because of my dogs, so I came home to take care of them  and to make dinner for us that night. That night was the town tree lighting, which was the last thing I shared with you last week, so I won't repeat any of that. If you missed that post, you can read about it here


We had Thanksgiving at Mom's and Bill's and I didn't take anything this year. There have been years when I contributed, but this year it just didn't happen. There was PLENTY of food, though, even more than we needed for the crowd of us gathered there this year. (There were twenty of us, give or take a couple.) Since I wasn't cooking that day, I spent the day working on my laptop. We just finished our Bible study the week before Thanksgiving, so now that we're done with that and I have a nice little break from Bible study for about seven weeks, I plan on spending that time studying, reading (over and over again), writing out, listening to sermons and writing on the book of Judges. That's the next book we're writing on, for the fall of 2023 and I got a jump start on Wednesday. It felt so good doing that! I spent the entire day working, from eight o'clock that morning until after two that afternoon. I worked myself into a headache and had to come and lay back and close my eyes for an hour. Along with helping with the writing of our next study, I am also the main editor for it this time, which is something new. I'll be compensated for the time I spend editing and I did that for the last one as well along with the other editor we used, but without the pay. I was elated when my friend asked me if I wanted this seasonal position, so after I spent time praying and thinking about it, I accepted her offer. That will be done mainly at night while I sit by my husband in our living room while he watches something on tv. I can multi-task like that. 😉


That night, Todd and I continued our second annual non-Thanksgiving dinner on the eve of the big turkey day by eating Mexican food. We went to our favorite non-local place and it was DELICIOUS. I don't have pictures, because I was too hungry to think about that. On Thursday morning I woke up early to watch a Christmas movie (can't remember which one if that says anything), then we dressed and went to my mom's at eleven. I only took the following pictures with the girls.



(The picture above is Madison...she loved looking at Nana's decorations!)



Kylie and me hanging on the couch...


Then Kinsley joined us....




And finally me with Macy and Madi. It was so much fun having them there this year! It was great to have such a full house for this holiday. Usually it's just Trish, her son Devin, the six of us in my family and Mom and Bill. (Which really sounds like a lot, but always seems small compared to when it's the rest of us.)


It was a beautiful day and the rain held off until the minute we pulled out to leave. I'm so glad it held off, because the girls ran around outside a lot and we were able to get pictures for Lisa and her family.



After we got home, I took a long hot shower and settled in for the night with my book and the lovely view of the Christmas tree. 



And that is about all I did for the rest of the weekend, which was glorious. I did meet up with my mom, sister and nephew for lunch on Friday, then my sister Trish and I went to Dad's for Friday night dinner. It was just the two of us and the two of them, but it was a lovely and quiet night, which is always kind of nice after a holiday. The rest of my family members were working, except for Jonah, but he was gone with a friend the entire day. I watched some movies over the remainder of the weekend, which I'll include here, because they were that good. I'm really into the Lifetime movies right now.





The Royal Corgi movie was my least favorite, but I still liked it because the dog was adorable. I thoroughly enjoyed being at church on Sunday. We didn't have choir, and I filled in for a friend on the praise team, so I was there ready to sing by 7:45. I love singing on a praise team, when it's just us and a praise band. Our musicians are INCREDIBLY talented and the few guys on instruments sounded amazing. Our music was so good, too...the songs had a mix of a Thanksgiving message with the hope of Christmas as well, since it was the first Sunday of Advent. Our pastor preached one of the best messages once again...he titled it home alone, but he based it on loneliness and how to handle that. It was relevant and practical, which I love. 


So, how was your weekend? I did blog three times last week, in case you missed out. Here are last week's posts, just in case you didn't read them.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday


It's almost December, which means our next Currently link party is happening on the first Wednesday of the month—which will be December 7. We'll be talking about what we're currently loving, gifting, wrapping, hoping and attending. I hope you join us! If you want to read last month's, you can read that post here. Thanks for reading my blog, friends! I'll be back to my normal posting schedule this week, so check back everyday! Love to all. 🎄



20 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about having a bit of the holiday blues. Can you start a new tradition? I think you can play the "mom card" and ask for a time for everyone to clear their calendar? I am not sure if that is helpful, buy maybe? I am writing down any community events in my calendar that I think I would enjoy and then I will ask Tom or friends to do them with me. I am just hoping I can stay sane with all the busy in a high school during these 3 weeks. Hope you feel more festive soon!

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  2. Awww, great pictures of your family- so nice that family whom you don't see often comes into town. I love it when that happens! I know that you loved having your family in town. I'm sorry that you're feeling down with your kids all grown up. I feel like that in waves. But I love the stage that they are in now. With two of them in college but close by, I get to see them fairly often. And with one still at home, I feel like I appreciate the time with her a lot, knowing that we are on the clock with her and how quickly it will go.

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  3. What a relaxing holiday and yes, being with the little ones bring such joy again. I love to see things through the eyes of a child.

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  4. Amy- I know so many people who get like this at this time of year. I really try not to linger in these feelings, because it escalates. This is one reason why I like to have fun things on the calendar. I'm doing some fun things this week, so I am glad for that...even if it ends up being me with friends. It's SO HARD for us to all be together! Drew and Noah both work in the service industry, so their hours are crazy and during odd time frames. It makes it so tricky! They haven't even all been in church together in weeks, because Noah is working Sundays right now, which I hate.

    My birthday is on Dec. 14, so we always do something together that night to celebrate, which is less about me and all about being together. It usually involves Christmas lights and good food.

    Thanks, friend! I actually felt better the next day...it does come and go, it just depends on my mindset. I'm always trying to put things into perspective. ❤

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  5. Thanks, Maria! It was so nice. The timing couldn't have been better. I really am okay now, but it just kinda comes and goes. I try to not spend too much time wallowing in these feelings, because it only makes them worse. I was better the next day and have been fine ever since. It's nice that you're able to see your two college kids often. I feel like boys are so different and don't want all that quality time together. Part of that is their age and immaturity. My Graham is great at this and he's got the thoughtfulness thing down pat- but he's also almost 24 and more mature than the others. I don't think the others have thought about it and I don't want to tell them and feel like I'm having to pressure them into something. We do get our moments, though, and I'm always thankful for them when they come around. ❤

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  6. Marilyn, YES! Me too. There is nothing quite like that feeling of awe and wonder in the eyes of little ones.

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  7. Hi Jennifer! I'm glad you got a break from your computer, but glad you're back too :)

    I know you've already moved past your holiday blues, but I wanted to just say that you're not alone. Having 2 married sons brings a whole set of new challenges and sometimes I'm just ready to skip the holidays and move right on into the new year.

    Much of it is just my own expectations. I like to have, what my husband and I call, "Walton's moments," where everything turns out perfect and just like on tv :) But then I wake up! :)

    Every year I have to talk my way out of these expectations, with lots of prayer and attitude adjusting. It's exhausting.

    All that to say...I get it.

    I also relate to the beginning of your post, concerning reading your Bible. I know that these are normal cycles for most Christians, myself included. I'm so thankful for the grace!

    Also, your birthday is on the same day as my husband's :)

    Have a blessed week!

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  8. Mom of a 19 year old here and I am definitely STRUGGLING hard. In general, but absolutely with the holidays. I do have a young niece and nephew and that helps, but man it's hard.

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  9. I so appreciate and love your honest words here- I feel the same from time to time and I am the same kind of culprit- when things get busy, I neglect prayer! XO

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  10. Oh yes, the holidays with bigs is so totally different! Most of the time I like it and embrace the change but it can be tough to think back to those moments of pure joy when they were little. I really enjoyed a nice blogging break too but did open my laptop a time or two to get some online shopping done.

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  11. Debbie, I missed being here. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement from someone who is just right ahead of me. I had that thought this morning as I was praying- so much of my "letdown" feelings are just that- my own high expectations. I have this thing where I am continually having to try and lower them so that I'm not disappointed. It's such a season of change and I know it will only get more complicated as we add future daughters-in-love and grands, Lord willing.

    I too am so thankful for the grace that God lavishes on us. How fun that your hubby and I shared a birthday! I do blame my December birthday on the reason why I love this time of year so much. I really do mostly love it- enough that I'll keep on doing what I'm doing. I hope your day was good, my friend!

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  12. Kirsten- you get it too! I would guess that most of us with grown "kids" are in the same boat. I don't know what I'd do without Jesus to guide me through! I hope you're able to find some encouragement here...I don't often lament in this space, but I do like to let people know that I'm the same as everyone else and that I struggle. Hope to see you back here more! Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. Holly, you're always so sweet to encourage! Thank you for that and for assuring me that I'm not alone on the struggle bus. I hope you've had a great day and have recuperated a bit from the weekend festivities!

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  14. Joanne- it's so sweet of everyone to tell me I'm not alone in this! I do mostly love the change in them as adults...but there are a few harrowing moments that have DEFINITELY sprouted some new gray hairs on my head. Watching them fumble around as they adult is hard! I never want to nag, but to always encourage, so it's a thin line.

    I hope you had a great Monday!

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  15. I get a little down sometimes too because our girls and our grandson live out of state. We won't see them for Christmas either. While it was nice to go out with my sisters and hubby's mom (there were 6 of us) it's just so different than it used to be. But saying all that, I am still thankful for every day. We watched several movies this weekend too. I also finished that book you wrote about by Susan May Warren. Very good! I'll be checking out some of her other books soon, I'm sure. Your little nieces are adorable! Hope you have a great day.

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  16. Thanks for those sweet words, Cathy! I always appreciate your encouragement. I definitely should not complain- at least I get to see them all together every few weeks. It could always be so much worse! I know you'll miss seeing your daughter and their family. I'm glad to hear you still enjoyed Thanksgiving! I knew you would love that book! I really did think of you as I read it and I'll be doing the same thing. Thanks for that! I hope you had a great day, friend.

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  17. A break from the computer - great idea. But sorry that your weekend was tough. Time with all those cutie patootie girls is probably bittersweet. So sweet to share all the fun and snuggles but a real reminder of the days gone by with your own little guys. Tough, I am sure. Praying you have a quiet week ahead - extra time to get alone with the savior...allowing Him to meet you exactly where you need Him. Hugs my friend -

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  18. Thanks, Jennifer! I really am better now. I shouldn't complain...things could be truly worse off and I'm thankful I do get to see all my sons together at least once every few weeks. Much love!

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  19. What a thoughtful post. I know what you mean about the holidays. There are highs and lows for all, that's for sure. Your family is precious. I love the pics with the littles!

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  20. I know we all have moments of feeling down and sad and thank you for the reminder to enjoy this time with my kids. I feel like it's so busy right now and I'm just running from thing to thing to thing without a chance to enjoy it (or to do anything that I want to do) so thank you for the reminder that this time is short and I should be counting my blessings (healthy kids who want to be involved in lots of things) rather than doing everything grudgingly. I know this isn't where you were going with this but you helped me have an attitude adjustment today so thank you.

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Hello, Monday 6/24/2024

  Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with   Holly  and  Sarah  for today's post. I hope you had a good weekend! Mine was really n...